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Top Mass. Probation Official Steps Down

Another top official with the state Probation Department has resigned in the midst of a hiring scandal. Elizabeth Tavares, the department's first deputy commissioner, announced Tuesday she was stepping down just three weeks after her boss, Commissioner John O'Brien quit.

Tavares was suspended with pay in November after a special counsel appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court concluded she was "at the heart of perpetuating the sham selection process" in which less qualified job applicants with political connections were hired ahead of more qualified job seekers.

Tavares resigned day before a scheduled disciplinary hearing that could have led to her dismissal.

Tavares said in her resignation letter that it was in the best interest of her family that she retire.

Attorney Paul Ware, who led the court-ordered investigation revealing the alleged abuses, said Tavares' move was the correct course of action, one that he anticipates will be repeated by others accused in the scandal.

"She acted responsibly in stepping down and I think that's a plus for the public and probation," Ware said. "Given the evidence and report, expect more resignations."

Earlier:

This program aired on January 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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